What Are the Most Popular Christmas French Foods?

Written by gemma craig
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
What Are the Most Popular Christmas French Foods?
A Christmas dinner entrée in France includes meat, rice and "haricots verts." (chicken dinner image by Liz Van Steenburgh from Fotolia.com)

Having a menu of traditional French Christmas foods for the holidays can turn a table from boring to memorable for friends and family alike. Traditions are found throughout France and variety depends on the region. The main meal is "le reveillon" and is traditionally served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Other People Are Reading


The most common foods served for the aperitif include an assortment of canapes, such as smoked salmon or caviar served on blini. Blini are small buckwheat pancakes. Champagne is traditional, but cocktails are equally enjoyed.


The entrée usually consists of cold and hot starters. In Paris and the southwest, it is typically foie gras served on brioche or some other type of bread, accompanied by a sweet wine. Another favourite is raw oysters, particularly in Brittany and Paris. Rye bread with butter is traditional company for oysters, served with lemon juice or wine vinegar mixed with finely chopped shallots. Other cold starters are a terrine or pate. White wine goes well with most seafood choices. A popular hot starter is the traditional coquilles St. Jacques, a savoury dish of scallops with a cream sauce.

Plat Principal

Choose anything you wish for the main course; there are no hard fast traditions for this part of the French Christmas meal. Some favour stuffed poultry. In Alsace, goose with chestnut stuffing, while in Burgundy they may prefer turkey. Lobster, crab and game meats are also a popular choice, including pheasant, venison and wild boar. Cranberry sauce for most meats is reserved for Christmas meals in France. Serve any of these usually with roast chestnuts or rice and wild mushrooms. Vegetables served are green beans and gratin dauphinois, which is the French Alps version of potatoes au gratin. Choose whatever type of wine preferred, though red is usually prevalent during the main course.


French dinner without cheese is hardly French. Serve a variety on a cheese platter with a selection of crackers and breads. Each guest slices off their own portions from the cheeses.


The traditional Christmas dessert in France is the "buche de Noel," or Christmas log. It is a rich, chocolate cake shaped like a Yule log. Another popular dessert is a delicious warm dish of poached spiced fruit in cider or wine sauce, which is still sweet, but much lighter tasting than the other rich holiday foods.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.